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Relation of computer interface/feedback to learning style for SLA

Background:  I’ve seen students at schools where I teach approach learning with computers in different ways, using different learning styles. I want to see how that influences language acquisition. Current research is developing in SLA, CALL and learning styles, but not many put all 3 together.

I do a lot of work with hypertext, both with students reading and writing, along with some listening and speaking. I plan to focus on using hypertext as one instance of interface. I’d define CALL as one of the courses I teach (at both University of Tokyo and Showa Women’s University). I will have to control for gender and other dissimilarities, but the two groups are essentially compatible. I may even use differences as part of the results.

Research question: What is the relationship between computer interface, learning styles and language acquisition?

More specifically, how do students with different learning styles approach use of hypertext for language learning? What kinds of interface factors cause CALL learners to interact with the hypertext more, or less?

Students, when working on CALL (operational definition here is a CALL hypertext) often ask for support from the teacher. Is there any correlation between questions they ask and their learning styles? Can this be built into the hypertext, and if so, will this improve language learning or not?

Suggested methodology/comments:  Review of the literature summer 2002.

Pre/post test. Probable use of PhonePass for benchmark measure of target language improvement. Close correlations with TOEIC. Data collection runs Fall Semester 2002 (in Japan, September to Jan. 2003). Measure of learning styles. Observation of learner behavior.  Results and writing done Jan-Mar 2003. n=100+ distributed between 2 universities.

Note: This methodology is likely to change based on the literature review.

Contact:  Kevin Ryan    ryan@kevinryan.com

Reader Comments: --

June 28, 2004  Agnes ro027774@mail.ucf.edu  Can you suggest one valid instrument for measuring learning style?

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